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Investigating staff knowledge of safeguarding and pressure ulcers in care homes

Ousey, Karen, Kaye, Vicky, McCormick, Karen and Stephenson, John (2016) Investigating staff knowledge of safeguarding and pressure ulcers in care homes. Journal of wound care, 25 (1). pp. 5-11. ISSN 0969-0700

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Objective: To investigate whether nursing/care home staff regard pressure ulceration as a safeguarding issue; and to explore reporting mechanisms for pressure ulcers in nursing/care homes.
Methods: Sixty five staff members from 50 homes within one clinical commissioning group completed a questionnaire assessing their experiences of avoidable and unavoidable pressure ulcers, grading systems, and systems in place for referral to safeguarding teams. Understanding of safeguarding was assessed in depth by interviews with 11 staff members.
Results: Staff observed an average of 2.72 pressure ulcers in their workplaces over the last 12 months; judging 45.6% to be avoidable. Only a minority of respondents reported knowledge of a grading system (mostly the EPUAP/NPUAP system). Most respondents would refer pressure ulcers to the safeguarding team: the existence of a grading system, or guidance, appeared to increase that likelihood. Safeguarding was considered a priority in most homes; interviewees were familiar with the term safeguarding, but some confusion over its meaning was apparent. Quality of written documentation and verbal communication received prior to residents returning from hospital was highlighted. However, respondents expressed concern over lack of information regarding skin integrity. Most staff had received education regarding ulcer prevention or wound management during training, but none reported post-registration training or formal education programmes; with reliance placed on advice of district nurses or tissue viability specialists.
Conclusion: Staff within nursing/care homes understand the fundamentals of managing skin integrity and the importance of reporting skin damage; however, national education programmes are needed to develop knowledge and skills to promote patient health-related quality of life, and to reduce the healthcare costs of pressure damage. Further research to investigate understanding, knowledge and skills of nursing/care home staff concerning pressure ulcer development and safeguarding will become increasingly necessary, as levels of the older population who may require assisted living continue to rise.

Item Type: Article
Subjects: R Medicine > RT Nursing
Schools: School of Human and Health Sciences
School of Human and Health Sciences > Institute for Skin Integrity and Infection Prevention
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Depositing User: Cherry Edmunds
Date Deposited: 09 Dec 2015 10:12
Last Modified: 31 Mar 2016 12:49


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